Good prep for a career

April 10, 1994|By Stephen Wigler

Part of May Garrettson Evans' legacy is the number of distinguished careers in the performing arts that started at the Peabody Prep. A very short list might include:

* Dancer-choreographer Martha Clarke, a founder of Pilobolus and a recent recipient of a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation.

* Composer Philip Glass, whose minimalist operas, such as "Einstein on the Beach" and "Satyagraha," made him a media superstar and gave new life to a moribund genre.

* Harmonica player Larry Adler, among the greatest virtuosos on his instrument, who was expelled from the Prep for playing "Yes, We Have No Bananas" in the early 1920s and went on to become, in the '30s and '40s, one of the highest-paid performers in the world.

* Bass-baritone James Morris, a high-school lacrosse star from Baltimore County who could have become a college all-American had not voice lessons at the Prep encouraged him to believe he might become the greatest Wotan in Wagner's "Ring" cycle on today's opera stages.

* Pop singer-pianist Tori Amos, who came to the Prep as a 5-year-old classical prodigy and has gone on to perform prodigies of another kind -- among them a 1992 release, "Little Earthquakes," that went gold, selling more than 500,000 copies.

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